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A46E_EETimesEuro_2_375x10_875_A45.qxd 5/4/15 DC-3 Series are those that can record and provide traceability of the process conditions within the DC-1 Series oven for every electronic assembly. For this reason the SolderStar APS (Automatic Profiling Systems) was developed. Platforms like the SolderStar APS measure the stability of the process parameters within a thermal process, combined with assembly position tracking, to produce the most representative virtual profile possible for every PCB passing through the machine. HiQP Series DC-DC CONVERTERS NEW!! HIGH INPUT VOLTAGES UP TO 900 VDC. DC-1 Series • 120-370 VDC input voltage range • 5-300 VDC regulated isolated outputs • Up to 300 watts output power • 4.5” X 2.5” X 0.50” encapsulated package • DC-3 Series • 300-900 VDC input voltage range • 3.3 -300 VDC regulated isolated outputs • Up to 50 watts, single and dual outputs • Thru hole and terminal strip models • HiQP Series • 125-475 VDC input voltage range • 24-200 VDC regulated isolated outputs • Up to 50 watts output power • 2.50” X 1.55” X 0.50” encapsulated package ALL MODELS AVAILABLE WITH EXPANDED OPERATING TEMPERATURES SELECTED MILITARY SCREENING CUSTOM DESIGNS For full characteristics of these and the entire PICO product line, see PICO’s Full line catalog at www.picoelectronics.com PICOELECTRONICS, Inc. Pico Representatives Germany ELBV/Electronische Bauelemente Vertrieb E-mail: info@elbv.de Phone: 0049 89 4602852 Fax: 0049 89 46205442 England Ginsbury Electronics Ltd. E-mail: rbennett@ginsbury.co.uk Phone: 0044 1634 298900 Fax: 0044 1634 290904 Such platforms can continuously track PCB movements through the machine and monitor process fluctuations at product level. These changes are then used by a mathematical model to calculate what the resulting PCB profile or ‘virtual profile’ would be. These process parameters can then be calculated and tested within limits. The APS uses a novel technique to reduce the number of thermocouple conductors required to make the product level measurements needed, allowing for a much smaller probe diameter to be achieved. For example on a 14 zone machine a probe diameter of typically 6mm could be used. This results in robust yet fast response probe design essential for achieving the detection of machine faults quickly and easily so they can be rectified, saving both time and money. Faults that can be detected on APS platforms include checking if the zone temperatures and speed are set incorrectly from a defined reference, rapid feedback on thermocouple and conveyor and fan failures. Also the oven recipes are monitored to finally ensure they are inputted correctly and there is no overloading of the oven. SolderStar APS can continuously compare each new set of measurements with the reference and evaluate any differences. If the difference between the current process and the reference exceed user defined limits, then further boards are prevented from entering the oven by way of the SMEMA (Surface Mount Equipment Manufacturer’s Association) interface. Special temperature probes are mounted along the heated length on both sides of the machine to monitor actual product level temperatures in real time. In addition to this, the system keeps track of the current speed and position of each assembly in the process. The temperature probes have been designed to be smaller, and can be positioned closer to the PCB providing a much more accurate temperature measurement in the vicinity of the electronic assembly during soldering. The smaller size also reduces the danger of the probe shadowing the product. Such a system also measures the product level zone temperatures and conveyor speed independently of the oven stopping the machine from malfunctioning if for example, a heater or fan is ineffective, or an operator error loading the wrong recipe for the board being produced. The continuous nature of the APS means that the thermal process no longer runs blind. The profile for every single PCB is modelled and verified to meets the requirements of that particular assembly. It is also designed specifically to meet the strict requirements of the manufacturer lowering the cost of production by reducing production downtime due to rework and labour. The age old problem of ‘you can’t manage what you can’t measure’ is no longer a problem with this state-of-the-art profiling technology. All these benefits have improved manufacture and saved in time and money as it is a permanent and immediate method of profiling. Because of these obvious advantages manufacturers of military, automotive and medical devices are moving towards this technology as their preferred method of profiling as it is consistent, accurate and provides 100% traceability through advanced software. In a nutshell the APS system can discover ‘problems’ as they happen which can be rectified easily and efficiently reducing downtime and man hours and is a fail safe way to ensure that PCB assembly and manufacture is correct with guaranteed traceability. Fig. 6: APS- probe up close. www.electronics-eetimes.com Electronic Engineering Times Europe June 2015 45


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